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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Forest plantation management strategies for economic development of Uganda Moyini, Yakobo Z. G.


The pace of economic development in Uganda has been slow. National output has not increased fast enough. There has been evidence of a long-term deterioration in the terms of trade, elements of export instability and a serious stress in the balance of payments. Employment and rural development have been less than satisfactory. A possible strategy for alleviating these problems involves a more rational utilization of natural resources, of which the forestry sector is one. A review of the past performance of the forestry sector indicated that its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product was minimal, 2.1%. Furthermore, employment in forest management was small and unstable and imports of forest products have increased faster than exports. On the other hand, forest industries were labour-intensive, ranking second to the textile industry and contributing 10% of the total employment in manufacturing. The lack of a sound forest policy and a quantifiable production goal was identified as a possible cause of the poor performance. Forestry was relegated to the position of a handmaid to agriculture and the size of the national forest estate was limited to a minimum of 8% of the total land area of the country. If the forestry sector is to contribute substantially to economic development, it must be well planned. To achieve this the identification of optimum product-oriented management models for forest lands is necessary. By the year 2000 A.D. maximum consumption requirements 3 in million M were estimated to be 46.85 for fuelwood and charcoal, 2.89 for poles and posts, 1.0 3 for sawnwood and sleepers and 0.15 for wood-based panels; and 0.25 million metric tons for paper and paperboard. Based on roundwood supply projections at current levels of management and timber prices, the forest resource of Uganda will be unable to meet the anticipated demand by the year 2000. Increased utilization of the lesser-known species in the tropical high forests is a feasible medium-term strategy for avoiding timber scarcity. In addition, preliminary studies indicate that species such as Cyanometra alexandrii (CH. Wright) offer real promise in the export sector and should, therefore, be processed. However, for a much more sustained production with attendant improvements in quality and yield per hectare, a greater effort towards forest plantations is advocated. Five product-oriented softwood (Pinus patula Schl. Cham and P. caribaea Morelet var. hondurensis) management models were forumulated and tested for efficiency. Two of the models had close spacing (2200 stems/ha) with a light (IA) and a heavy (IB) thinning. Model IC had intermediate spacing (1800 stems/ha) with two heavy thinnings; ID with wide spacing (900 stems/ha) and a heavy thinning; and IE, the current management regime, has a wide/intermediate spacing (1370 stems/ha) with three thinnings. The "VYTL" simulation model developed at the Commonwealth Forestry Institute (Oxford) was used to produce yield tables for the management models. The models appropriate for Eucalyptus grandis (Hill) Maiden had already been adequately analysed elsewhere. In terms of efficiency, model IC had the highest mean 3 annual increment (29.4 M³/ha/year at age 20) and ID attained a mean dbh of 20 cm earliest, at age 11. Using the Faustmann formula and assuming a constant timber price (models IA, IB and IC) and a size-responsive revenue function (models ID and IE), the optimum rotations in years were 17 for IA, 19 for IB, 22 for IC, 27 for ID and 29 for IE. Substantial economies in the use of land can be achieved by adopting the appropriate management strategies. Model IA was best suited for pulpwood production and IE for veneer and saw logs. For an integrated pulpwood/veneer and saw log production, model IA was most suited if greater emphasis was on pulpwood and IC if the emphasis was on veneer and saw logs. Based on the revenue assumptions for the determination of rotation length, model IE had the largest amount of present net worth (U.shs 3374/ha at 6% discount rate) and ID, the highest internal rate of return (10.50 percent). When either the amount of initial capital outlay, or total cost compounded to rotation age required to produce a unit volume of wood was used to measure cost-effectiveness, model IE was the most efficient. Taking into account all these efficiency rankings, model IE was selected as the optimum product-oriented management strategy for veneer and saw log production, IA for pulpwood and IC for an integrated pulpwood/veneer and saw log production. Having identified the optimum management strategies, their implications for economic development in terms of foreign exchange earnings, investment requirements, employment and rural development were assessed. The greatest opportunities for foreign exchange earnings were in import-and product-substitution. The economic values of substitution locally produced softwood sawnwood for prime grade hardwoods on the domestic market and for imports of softwood sawnwood were estimated to be U.shs 1400 and 727 per M³ respectively. Direct or seedling credit schemes for eucalypt woodlot farms were recommended and will require a maximum investment of U.shs 1461 million and employ 183 thousand persons per annum. For softwood plantations, a maximum investment of U.shs 213 million and employing 62,000 persons annually will be needed. Due to the existence of an artificial surplus of land, a two-pronged strategy of forest area expansion and intensive management was considered optimal for Uganda. It was estimated that through adoption of the optimum intensive management models, the size of the national forest estate should be increased from the current 8% to about 17% of the total land area of the country to avoid future timber scarcity. To lessen the disparities in the standard of living among regions, industrial plantations should be located in economically depressed areas. A land availability index, expressed as a function of regional rate of land utilization, carrying capacity, actual population density and real per capita income was used to determine potential sites for establishing plantations. Those districts with land availability indices below the national average were considered economically depressed. They were Madi, West Nile, Acholi (East and West), Lango, Mubende and Bunyoro, in a decreasing order of severity. The last four offer greatest promise for plantation forestry. Finally, the management strategies identified in this study should provide the main basis for sound social cost-benefit analyses of forestry projects. It is hoped the projects will subsequently be adopted in the next development plan of Uganda.

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